More than Prevention: How Preventive Medicine Works
Preventive medicine is many faceted and encompasses a wide-variety of programs and specialties. The aim of these efforts is twofold. One is to reduce the incidence of disease, or primary prevention. The second is early diagnosis and treatment, or secondary prevention. While most people associate preventive medicine with the vaccines of childhood, it plays a large role in healthcare for adults, as well. According to the CDC, screenings and early treatment leads to better quality of life and lower healthcare costs.
It may seem counterintuitive to think of preventive medicine when talking about chronic conditions, but these patients are actually at greater risk. Due to comorbidity and weakened immune systems, many patients with chronic conditions require greater vigilance. It is critical for these individuals to stay educated about their preventive needs, be up-to-date with their screenings and shots, and to keep their healthcare provider informed of any symptom changes.